32 Movies Best Watched in Total Ignorance


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The logic of film marketing suggests we need to know everything about a movie before we’ll pony up for a movie ticket—but that doesn’t mean that’s the right way to see every movie. There’s a lot of competition for our attention these days, meaning many of us do a lot of vetting before we’ll actually sit down and watch something. But trailers too often telegraph the entire plot, even as the omnipresent social media discourse analyzes its cleverest moments to death before you get a chance to plunk down for a ticket.

“Spoiling” is harder to do with a movie like Dan Kwan and Daniel Scheinert’s Everything Everywhere All at Once, a genre-bending action/sci-fi/thriller/family drama currently earning rave reviews, punching above its weight at the box office, and packed with more surprises than could possibly be spoiled in a two-minute trailer. It’s a ride, and far from playing to your expectations, it gos out of its way to subvert them with ever-wilder twists. It is a film with depth for a dozen viewings, but your first should still be as fresh as possible; I’d even recommend against watching the excellent trailer (which I’m embedding below against my better judgement), even though it doesn’t give away as much as you might think it does.

Some movies simply seem designed to be watched with as little foreknowledge as is possible, unsullied by expectations. Sometimes even knowing the premise is a spoiler. Some of them feature twist endings, but none of them are just about the twist endings. You’ve gotta have a twist beginning and middle, too. Twists everywhere, all at once. (In the spirit of the piece, you’ll forgive me if I don’t say much about the plots of these movies, and the trailers are for illustrative purposes. Yes, this is a little weird; use your best judgement.)


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